The United States is facing challenging times. Terrorism, the economy, and health care are difficulties that our country faces. Another threat that is real, but receives a lot less press coverage, is Mexico’s collapsing government. The drug traffickers are becoming increasingly powerful, bribing police officers and turning our neighbor to the south into a hotbed of violence. While most people in Mexico are good, hardworking people, the drug lords are making it more difficult for honest people on both sides of the border. The threat that Mexico currently poses to the United States includes murders, kidnappings, and holding up Border Patrol agents at gunpoint.
The Mexican military has held United States Border Patrol agents at gunpoint, on US soil, on several occasions. At times, the Mexican military will hold up Border Patrol agents while driving Humvees that the United States government gave them. It is believed that the Mexican soldiers are doing this in order to protect drug runners and migrant smugglers.
Kidnappings and Violence
Kidnappings and violence have made life more hazardous on both sides of the Mexican border. Mexicans who have relatives in America are especially at risk, as they are being singled out for kidnapping because it is believed that their family members in the United States can get ransom money. The US State Department warns that the drug cartels have begun to resemble small combat units, using automatic weapons and occasionally grenades. More than 1,000 people were killed in Ciudad Juarez alone last year. Public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours, people have been beheaded, and dozens of US citizens have been kidnapped. Recently, kidnappings have begun to occur on US soil, with their victims smuggled into Mexico.
Corrupted Law Enforcement
Mexico is finding it hard to control its police force. Although Mexican President Felipe Calderón has been cracking down on drug trafficking, he faces an uphill battle. Police officers in Mexico are not paid well, and are easily susceptible to being bribed by the drug traffickers. Many of the honest police officers are fearful of not cooperating, as their families are sometimes threatened. Often the honest police officers decide to quit.
The United States relationship with Mexico is a challenging one. Narcotics traffickers that once kept violence on the other side of the border are now threatening United States citizens. The Mexican government seems to be unable to do anything about it. The United States government seems to be unable to prevent people from buying the drugs that are funding the Mexican drug traffickers. If nothing is done, this situation could get worse.
Diaz, Lizbeth. “Mexican Drug Gang Turns To Kidnapping In The U.S.” Reuters. August 12, 2008. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN1250256620080812
Dillon, Sam. “Kidnappings in Mexico Sent Shivers Across Border”. International Herald Tribune. January 5, 2009. http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/01/05/america/05mexico.php
Grillo, Ioan. “Behind Mexico’s Wave of Beheadings”. Time.com. September 8, 2008. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1839576,00.html
Hawley, Chris. “Mexico Focuses On Police Corruption”. USA Today.com. February 5, 2008. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-02-05-mexico-police_N.htm
Kurtzman, Joel. “Mexico’s Instability Is a Real Problem”. Wall Street Journal.com. January 16, 2009. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123206674721488169.html
“Mexican Army Invades U.S., Holds Border Cop at Gunpoint”. Worldnetdaily.com. August 6, 2008. http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=71609
“Travel Alert”. U.S. Department of State. October 14, 2008. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_3028.html